News Project “Open Arms”

Project “Open Arms”

The European Union has awarded more than 2, 3 million euros grant to institutions of social and health protection, civil society organisations and local self- governments in Serbia which took participation in the call for proposals “Support to de-institutionalisation and social inclusion of people with mental and intellectual disabilities”. On the occasion of awarding grants for projects which aim is to help people with mental and intellectual disabilities, the gathering was held at the Palace of Serbia on June, the 4th 2014.
19 applicants and many partners on the project participated there.
The Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia, Michael Davenport, addressed the grantees, on the behalf of EU, congratulating them on successful participation in the call for proposals and project’s implementation. He emphasized the importance of the reforms which will lead to closing down large institutions and forming small services for residence (Small Group Homes) i.e. de-institutional process. The goal of the project is to enhance the position of beneficiaries with intellectual and mental disabilities in residential institutions (institution of social protection) and create conditions for their inclusion in the society and local community. On behalf of the Government of Serbia, Minister Aleksandar Vulin, Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy and Zlatibor Loncar, Minister of Health attended the gathering. In brief speech, they addressed the audience and emphasized the importance of supporting people with mental and intellectual disabilities. Funds have been awarded to 19 projects which will be implemented from June, 2014 to December 2015.
The grant’s amount is from 50,000 to 200,000 euros per project, with co-financing of 15%. Thanks to these projects, 19 new services will be launched in system of social protection and health, 149 persons should start independent life in the community through de-institutional process, 192 persons should be prepared for de-institutionalisation and 533 persons will be included in local services which aim is to prevent institutionalisation.
Aleksinac municipality have applied with pilot model of social inclusion of people with mental and intellectual disabilities “Our Town is our Home”, in cooperation with HO “Child’s heart” and Center for Social Work in Aleksinac. The goal of the project is de-institutionalisation of people with disabilities from different institutions across Serbia to home town of Aleksinac, strengthening services of Day Care Center, Respite, Small Group Homes, Club for Elder People and Ambulance in Aleksinac. Also, it is planned to provide conditions for launching 5 services.
HO “Child’s heart” is the partner of the Institution for Adults Placement “Kulina” on the project “A way from the institution to independent life”. The goal of the project is de-institutionalisation of beneficiaries from residential institution. The first phase includes intensive practical preparation of people with mental disability for as independent as possible life through specially created programmes, and after that their placement to foster families. Within the project it was planned to collaborate with 10 Centers for Social Work, 4 Centers for Family Placement and Adoption, 36 services providers from 6 local communities, 60 foster families, as well as 30 employees in institutions. It was also planned to perform functionality assessment of 150 beneficiaries in order to determinate current state and prepare the group of 30 people from the institution for more independent life in local community.
Belgrade, June, the 4th 2014

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